Lincoln City's LNER Stadium

Interim head coach Tom Shaw and returning winger Danny Mandroiu spoke to the media on Monday afternoon ahead of Lincoln City’s Halloween fixture against Oxford United.

Shaw commented on the short turnaround since Exeter, he said: “We’re trying to maximise that time in the classroom with the players and they seem very engaged … which is good to see.”

Following his three-match suspension for a red card vs Burton Danny Mandroiu is back available tomorrow evening. Shaw said: “I love Danny, any coach in this division would love to have him, and we’ll have a think about if he features how that looks.”

He added: “It takes a man to do that [apologise] and the lads have got a lot of respect for Danny and they’ll be just as happy as the supporters that he’s back available.”

He believes the team is in good shape ahead of the Oxford game at the LNER Stadium. “Everything seems pretty good to be honest and Tyler Walker was back on the grass today which was a great sight.”

The interim head coach said: “This group of players have gone from 16th to 8th and with that they should have some confidence. We’ll be bouncing into this fixture.” And added: “We’re trying to execute a style that players like playing in and coaches like coaching and the supporters can enjoy.”

On the LNER Stadium atmosphere Shaw said: “What a place to play and watch football at the LNER, under the lights we saw it last week, can we replicate that feeling?  that would be great.”

High-flying Oxford pose a threat to Shaw’s unbeaten record in interim charge, sitting second in the table. He said: “They’re great with the ball but I feel there’s areas where we can hurt them, but they’re a top side with a top head coach.”

Shaw added: “We’re going to try and unsettle them, but we must be respectful. Hopefully we can catch them in a few situations.”

Finally on Alistair Smith, who scored his first Lincoln City goal on Saturday vs Exeter, Shaw said: “I was so pleased when he got his goal, he deserves it before these three games. I’m delighted that he’s had a positive week.”

Interim head coach Tom Shaw
Interim head coach Tom Shaw after the Charlton Athletic win.

Irish forward Danny Mandroiu also spoke to the media as he returns from suspension for tomorrow’s match. He said: “Yeah I’m buzzing to get going again.”

Mandroiu said: “It’s been difficult because I’m not playing and with all the changes going around the club.” He added: “I just want to apologise for my tackle and for letting the supporters down.”

In what turned out to be Kennedy’s final game in charge, the then head coach shared some strong words on Mandroiu’s red card and mentality.

Mandroiu said: “It was a surprise to me, but that’s football and he has his opinion.”

When asked by BBC Radio Lincolnshire on whether he agreed with anything Kennedy had commented on he said: “No I don’t agree with any of it.”

On the change since Tom Shaw took interim charge he said: “There’s a new energy to the squad, the players in the dressing room are so talented and I think you’re seeing that with how we’re building up from the back.”

Finally, looking ahead to the Oxford fixture Mandroiu said: “These are a very good side and we’re looking to go and win the game and perform well.”

LincSport will provide live updates on Twitter/X, as well as a report and interviews after the final whistle.